Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Sloss-Sheffield Co.,
269 U.S. 217 (1925)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Louisville & Nashville R. Co. v. Sloss-Sheffield Co., 269 U.S. 217 (1925)

Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company v.

Sloss-Sheffield Steel & Iron Company

No. 25

Argued April 23, 1925

Decided November 23, 1925

269 U.S. 217


1. The case is properly here on writ of error; therefore, certiorari is denied. P. 269 U. S. 223.

2. Upon review of a judgment enforcing a reparation order made by the Interstate Commerce Commission in lieu of an earlier one, the carrier contended that the later order, though less in amount, was nevertheless void because by it the commission not merely eliminated items inadvertently included in the earlier order, but, without notice to the carrier or opportunity to be heard, added others which had been inadvertently omitted. Held that, assuming it otherwise void, the later order, having been made on petition of the shipper, could be treated as effecting a remittitur of part of the award, and the action would stand as one upon the original order (which was annexed to the complaint and introduced in evidence), appropriate amendments of the pleadings, in that regard, being considered as made in this Court, and alleged errors of the trial court, in ruling on evidence concerning the scope of the later order,

Page 269 U. S. 218

being disregarded as not affecting the substantial rights of the parties. P. 269 U. S. 223.

3. A prayer for reparation, though lacking in details of specific claims, will invoke the jurisdiction of the Commission and stop the running of the two-year statute of limitations if such that, under ordinary legal procedure the details could be supplied by amendment or bill of particulars. P. 269 U. S. 226.

4. Where a claim for reparation, incidental to a proceeding to reduce rates, was first denied by the Commission, but later granted on a petition for rehearing, held that neither the delay of a year and upwards in filing such petition nor the subsequent delay in deciding it deprived the Commission of jurisdiction of the claim and let in the two-year statute of limitations, there being then no rule limiting the time for filing the petition, and its entertainment under the circumstances being in accordance with the practice of the Commission. P. 228.

5. A prayer for reparation in a proceeding to reduce future rates should not be limited by a narrow construction to losses suffered by the complaining shipper before the proceeding was begun, thus excluding those to be suffered while it is pending. P. 269 U. S. 229.

6. A complaint for reparation which is sufficiently broad to cover relief as to rates over connecting lines will stop the two-year statute of limitations from running for the initial carrier proceeded against, though not for the connecting carriers, until they are made parties. P. 269 U. S. 230.

7. The carriers participating in forming an excessive joint through rate are jointly and severally liable for resulting damages to shippers, without regard to the division of the rate among the carriers. P. 269 U. S. 231.

8. A manufacturer sold and shipped pig iron f.o.b. destination to buyers named as consignees in straight bills of lading; the iron was invoiced and charged on the seller's books at the full delivered price, and the consignees physically paid the freight upon acceptance of delivery; the sales contracts, unknown to the carrier, declared the price to be based on the existing freight rate (specifying it) and provided that the buyers should have the benefit of any decline, but must pay any advance, in the freight rate, that the freight should be paid in cash and the balance (of the price) 30 days from average date of monthly deliveries, and that the seller would not be liable for any overcharge in freight when correct rate was expressed in the bill of lading. The freight rates proving excessive, held that reparation, in the amount of the excess, was properly

Page 269 U. S. 219

awarded (Interstate Commerce Act § 16) to the consignor. As a seller in a competitive market, the consignor was directly affected by the rate; the burden of the published rate rested on the consignor under the bill of lading; the consignee, in paying the freight, acted solely a the consignor's agent, and the equities between them were no concern of the carrier. So. Pacific Co. v. Darnell-Taenzer Co., 245 U. S. 531, distinguished. P. 269 U. S. 234.

9. In an order of reparation for payment of excessive freight charge, interest may be allowed by the Commission from time of such payment. P. 269 U. S. 238.

10. A judgment enforcing a reparation order may include interest on the amount of the order from its date, even though that amount be itself in part made up of interest. P. 269 U. S. 240.

295 F. 53, affirm.

Error to a judgment of the circuit court of appeals which affirmed, with a modification, a judgment of the district court on an order of reparation made by the Interstate Commerce Commission. Certiorari was applied for and denied.

Page 269 U. S. 222

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